Archives for posts with tag: family

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I can’t post today.
It is too late and the wrestling has started.

Honestly, Kurt Angle is about to wrestle Rockstar Spud, I don’t have time for anything right now.

It got late somehow.

Someone said they were coming round for a Chinese and suddenly I had to tidy because it’s been a while, you know when you  forget to clean up that stain in the kitchen and suddenly it take fifteen minutes of soaking in bleach to get it off? Only you can’t find the floor bleach so you have to use toilet cleaner because time is short.

The Proles were no use at all because they had been given tiny little remote control helicopters to fly and they kept flying them into me and when I saw one of them, and here I am not joking, land one in the toaster they had to be sent to the hallway for an hour to play.

The hallway was fine but in a long thin enclosed space with two small boys and two remote controlled helicopters things were never going to end well.

At least Prole1 was wearing protective glasses.

Later on Prole1 decided to fly his helicopter in the trampoline because the protective net around the outside would protect it and keep it safe. Sadly he gave it full throttle and it climbed about thirty feet into the air, got caught by a light breeze and flew away over the fence.

It must be the 21st Century when a small boy knocks on your door and says “Excuse me, can I have my remote controlled helicopter back please?”

Anyway, I had a Chinese meal for the first time in ages and the wrestling is on and I have to re-glue the tail on a helicopter for tomorrow.

Good night.

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New cats have moved in next door.

This is the reason the cat is pulling her hair out.

The Nice New Neighbour introduced them to us.

I like the Nice New Neighbour, she has put up the smallest Polytunnel I have ever seen in my life.
It looks great, just..well..small.

In fact it looks a lot better than my garden at the moment.
Since I moved everything around there have been some bald patches to the grass as well as the cat.
I threw a few handfuls of grass seed down but they are making no sign of germinating.
I know it always takes longer than you think.
Every time I put grass seed down I am ASTOUNDED by how long it takes to grow.

This year is no different.
I know it takes ages.
Why do I keep going to look at it and thinking to myself “It’s taking ages” ?

Anyway there are two new cats next door.

I looked them over and they are a fair size, bigger than my bald cat.
I can see why she is intimidated.

Having said that I watched her with one of them earlier.

The Nice New Neighbour told me she had had the cats for sixteen years and they were a bit old now.

I was on the landing picking a Lego Wheel out from between the bannisters and I could see bald cat walking round the corner to the gate.

She came face to face with the new/old cats from next door and she totally flipped out and turned and ran.

Next door’s cat never moved and only turned to see what the noise was.

It is not that the next door cats are intimidating intentionally.
They are just so old they cannot be bothered to pay any attention to bald cat and this uncatlike behaviour is freaking her out.

She is pulling her hair out because the cats next door don’t move.

I have no hope of rehabilitating her at this rate.

Form the window I could also see where the grass seed is not growing.

Why is it taking so long?

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Me: We all know the rules. No swallowing. Right?

Prole1: Right, I am so going to win.

Prole2: Right!

Silence.

They giggle.

I reach to the bowl in the middle of the table.

I take a marshmallow.

I put the marshmallow in my mouth.

Me: Fluffy Bunny.

Prole1 puts a marshmallow in his mouth.

Prole1: Fluffy Bunny.

Prole2 puts a Marshmallow in his mouth.

Prole2: Fluffy Bunny.

They giggle.

I put a marshmallow in my mouth.

Me: Fluffy Bunny.

Prole1 puts a marshmallow in his mouth.

Prole1: Fluffy Bunny.

Prole2 puts a Marshmallow in his mouth.

Prole2: Fluffy Bunny.

I put a marshmallow in my mouth.

Me: Fluffy Bunny.

Prole1 looks serious, Prole2 looks like a crazy hamster.

Prole1 puts a marshmallow in his mouth.

Prole1: Thif if filly.

Me: You in or out?

Prole1: Fluffy Buffy.

Me: What?

Prole1: Fluffy…ang on…Fluffy Bunny.

Prole2 puts a Marshmallow in his mouth.

Prole2: Fluffy Bunny.

I put a marshmallow in my mouth.

Me: Fluffy Bunny.

Prole1 puts a marshmallow in his mouth.

Proel1: Thif if filly, I gone an a goo if.

Me: Sorry? What did you say?

Prole2 giggles.

Prole1: Fluh-ee Wuh-ee.

Prole2: Wha?

Prole1: Fluh-ee…fluh-ee…wuh…fluh…

Prole1 spits four soggy marshmallows out into his hand

Prole1: Fluffy Bunny. This is silly. One of you can win.

Prole2 is giggling a lot.

Prole2 puts a Marshmallow in his mouth.

Prole2: Flupy Buh-ee.

Me: Pardon?

Prole2 pokes his index finger into his mouth and rummages around.

Prole1: Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop! No swallowing, why is he allowed to do that?

Prole2: Fluffy Bunny.

Prole1: That is not fair. I am going to read a book.

He stamps off and can be heard treading on lego with bare feet on the landing.
Me and Prole2 eyeball each other.

Me: Four marshmallows now? You must really want this.

Prole2: Wha?

Having a chat with four marshmallows in your mouth is not easy so I decide not to pursue the trash talk.

Me: Nothing.

I put a marshmallow in my mouth.

Me: Fluffy Bunny.

Prole2 tries to smile and drools a little. He is still making giggling noises but can barely keep his mouth shut. He has never gone above four.

Prole2 puts a Marshmallow in his mouth.

Prole2: Fluh-ee Buh-ee.

Me: What? I can’t understand.

Prole2: Fluh…fluh….fluh…

Me: Fluh? What’s a fluh? Why are you saying fluh?

Prole2 starts to giggle louder.

Five marshmallows.

He goes bright red with silent laughing.

Me: You are drooling on the table. No drooling. Stop drooling and stop saying fluh.

Prole2 laughs out loud, inhales a marshmallow and spits five wet sticky marshmallows across the room and the table.
Some of the fall out sprays the bowl of marshmallows in the middle of the table.
He turns in his seat, still laughing and vomits gently into the top of the radiator.

Prole2: You…you…you…win….

I look at the mess.

I am still the champion at Fluffy Bunny in my house.

Why don’t I feel like a winner?

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One of the Proles favourite things in the world is to play in an Arsenic Calciner.

We visit the one at Botallack quite regularly.
It sits on front of the Count House and up above the Crowns.
It must qualify for one of the most awe inspiring parts of the cornish coastline.
The Proles use the word ‘Awesome’ a lot but the cliffs of Botallack really are.

Once the faintly sombre part of our visits is over the boys just go wild for about half an hour.

At Botallack the remains of a huge Calciner are laid out on the cliff top.

The one at Botallack has been cleaned out and all the poisonous chemicals are gone now.
At one point the whole place must have been covered in a mildly lethal dust.

The process was to fire the ore and different chemicals would be vaporised with the heat.
The gasses would pass along tunnels, slowly cooling until they condensed on the walls of the tunnel.
Different chemicals would condense at different heats and so would cover the walls of the tunnel at different points.
The chemicals could be scraped off the sides of the tunnels and collected.

It was once a place of heavy, dangerous, deadly industry.
It is now greened in turf and furze over the red brick and granite.

The Calciner in Botallack is big enough to walk through in single file.
Not the open air dressing floor where the workers stood, women mostly, handling the toxic ash.
Actually inside the furnace and tunnels themselves.

The roof is missing for most of it so I am able to walk the length of it and only bend down to get through some of the smaller tunnels.
It takes around five minutes to walk from the furnace end to the chimney.

The tunnels are laid out in a rough ‘U’ shape, beginning with the furnace at the top of the ‘U’ and ending at the chimney at the other side.

The furnace door arch is still there so we walk through the door into the open square furnace shell and along a narrow bridge into the tunnel.
We are guided up a slight hill by the walls on either side for a while and then the tunnel snakes backwards and forwards in tight bends.
This is where most of the chemicals would have been gathered and each ‘end’ is framed by a doorway where it turns back on itself into the hillside again for about fifteen feet where it turns back on itself again and comes back to the next doorway.
There are a number of these parallel tunnels in and out of the hillside.
This zig zag series wiggles on and on until the tunnel travels up and over an arch at the base of the U shape.

This arch is easily big enough to walk under and then the tunnel continues on it’s wriggly way back up the other side of the U to the chimney.

The chimney is red brick and intact and reaches high into the air.

The whole walk is oddly mesmerising, like walking a maze.

The Proles call the Calciner ‘the Dragon’.

They rush in through the furnace’s open mouth and run as fast as they can through the tunnel to the tail, or ‘Dragon’s Bottom’ at Prole2 calls it.

Prole2 loves the word ‘bottom’ and it makes him giggle uncontrollably.
Prole1 hates the word ‘bottom’ and it can reduce him to tears if it is used a lot in conversation.
I am not sure which is the better way to be.

This is a chase of course.
I run behind making scary Dad noises.
The Proles squeak and shreak and run as fast as they can to get away.
In the past it was easy to keep up but they are getting rangy and slippery these days so it is more of an effort.
Also I am in occasional danger of knocking myself senseless on an occasional low lintel.
And I am in my forties, the odds are slowly moving in their favour.

The Proles love running from door to door, from tunnel to tunnel.
They climb all over it and scramble through it.
We play games of ‘catch’ and ‘tag’ across the dressing floor between the tunnel door ways.
They could and would do this for hours.

Often I can just stand waiting for them to return and hear nothing but echoey distant laughter from the tunnels.
The sound spins around and it is hard to know where abouts it is coming from.

Botallack is where Loz and I got married and the setting is where our wedding photos were taken.

All my very favourite photographs of that day are in and around that landscape.
I have a black and white image that our friend the New York Dancer took of us and I see it every morning.
I love Botallack and I cannot go there without thinking of her.

We also carried out a small ceremony there a few years ago for her.
She is there for me in amongst the ruins.
She is there in the cliffs and the blue of the sea, in the birds and the wind.
She is in the wild and the plants and the air.
If I want to know where Laura’s smile is then I go there.
She is in everything.

So when we go, we arrive quietly and stand for a moment.

Then the Proles go loopy and crash around the place like idiots.

I love it.

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The Smurfs are a bit of fun aren’t they?

I am not talking about the films.
I have not watched the films on principle.
I have watched almost all the “Winnie The Pooh” films and I am the lesser for it.

I don’t want the films to spoil the Smurfs for me.

Unfortunately my view of the world of the Smurfs is being shaken.

I am pretty sure they are still the cute little guys I remember.
They might be.

The Smurfs might also be the most sexist series of books I have ever read.

It is only reading it now that I wonder.

In fairness to Peyo, who wrote them, I have not read them all.

On the other hand, Peyo was writing the Smurfs in fifties and sixties France, about a village of one hundred males and one female and if stereo types of the time are anything to go by there is slim chance things are going to improve.

If the stereo types are anything to go by.

Which is the point unfortunately.

To write off Peyo (who, up until now in my memory of children’s books, was a towering hero) as a stereo type is to fall utterly and completely into the trap.
Supposing I start making dour and downbeat remarks about one of France’s best loved publishing giants only to have some future person expose my biased and mildly xenophobic remarks?

I mean, I could be right.

“The Smurfette” might be indicative of, and an early advocate of, popular body modification trends in the early twentieth century.
Smurfette herself may be a key signifier of all that is wrong with the portrayal of female characters in popular culture.
She may be an inverted role model, a sort of less gobby Spice Girls.
Media oppression and objectification of femininity dressed up as “a bit of fun’ or ‘strong character’.

This may be the first spoon feeding of ‘cute’ negative role models that the Proles have fully absorbed.

I say fully absorbed because Prole1 is currently translating the whole of the Smurf Anthology volume 1 and 2 for Prole2.
They have been through the books about seven times each.

But I am hoist by my own liberal petard.

Because on the other hand….

It may just be a bit of fun.
The Proles might not take it seriously.

The illustrations are brilliant.
Some of the jokes are very good.
The stories are very funny.

So in order to find out the truth of the question “Is Peyo’s Opus valid reading for the twenty first century?” we probably have to read to the end of the series to find out.

Just to be sure.

You have to get to the bottom of the Honey jar, just to make sure it’s not cheese, right?

After all, as a friend pointed out the other day, you have to wade through quite a lot of early Herge racism before you get to the Tin Tin classics….

 

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I am tucking the Proles into bed.

Prole2: Good night Dad. You can sleep in my bed if you want.

Me: No. You are too wriggly. Good night I love you.

Prole2: I love you more. What ever you love me I love you one more. I got in a space ship and went zooming miles and can’t measure how much I love you.

Me: Funny boy.

Prole2: Funny Dad.

Prole1 is reading a book.
He puts it down and gives me a big hug.
He kisses my cheek.

Me: Good night Bigman.

Prole1 snuggles into my jumper.
He pushes his face behind my ear and cuddles close.
He gently rubs his face against my right ear.

This goes on for some time.

Me: Oi. are you wiping your nose on me?

Prole1: Oh. Yes. Sorry Dad. I forgot. Goodnight.

Me: Yes. Goodnight.

Five minutes in the bathroom just checking the side of my head….

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Saturday 5th April.
Waterstones book shop
4.40pm

Prole1: How much pocket money do I have?

Me: Um…including today…I think you have about …

Prole1: Twenty pounds. I have twenty pounds.

me: Do you? You had sixteen but then you spent…but I owed you…

Prole1: I have twenty pounds.

Prole2: How much do I have?

Prole1: Including today?

Prole2: Yes.

Prole1: Two pounds.

Prole2: Oh.

Prole1: How much is this?

He tries to hod up a collection of Tin Tin books. It is the complete collection and he can’t quite lift it off the shelf.

Me: One hundred and twenty pounds.

Prole1: Oh.

Me: Half price though, so sixty pounds.

Prole1: Oh.

Me But I saw it on the internet for about forty pounds.

Prole1: Ah..ok…

Me: Ok look, i will go halves if you like. I enjoy Tin Tin, you two would enjoy it. Half each?

Prole1: OK! Yes! Let’s buy it on line.

The Car
7.20pm

Prole1: Did you buy it?

Me: Buy what?

Prole1: The Tin Tin books.

Me: Um…no, I am driving.

Prole1: Ok. Don’t worry.

Me: Thanks.

The Queue for the Ferry.
9:10pm

Prole1: There is no sound.

Me: What?

Prole1: Have you turned the engine off?

Me: Yes. We are waiting.

Prole1: You are not driving? Can you order the Tin Tin books?

Me: I need wifi to log on to the internet, I don’t have any here, sorry.

Prole1: Ok, Don’t worry Dad.

Me: Ok, I won’t.

Ferry Car Deck 5
9:25pm

Prole1: Do you have wi fi?

Me: Pardon?

Prole1: Can you order the Tin Tin books now?

Me: Can we get off the car deck?

Prole1: Ok Dad, ok.

Cabin 8124
9:50pm

Prole1: Is that your laptop?

Me: Yes.

Prole1: Are you going to get it out?

Me: I am going to bed.

Prole1: Not using your computer?

Me: No.

Prole1: We can order Tin Tin books tomorrow.

Me: Thanks.

Sunday April 6th
Ferry Cafe.
7.47am

Me: Are you going to be sick?

Prole1: No.

Me: You look like you are going to be sick.

Prole1: He is being sick.

Me: Yes. Yes he is being sick.

Some road somewhere in France.
About 11am.

Prole1: Dad?

Me: Yes?

Prole1: Dad?

Me Yes?

Prole1: DAD!

Me: YES?

Prole1: Oh, sorry, um did you order the books this morning when we were sea sick?

Me: No, sorry, I was a bit busy.

Prole1: Ok Dad, don’t worry, I know you care.

Me: Thanks for that.

Croix Hellean
2:30-ish French time.

Prole1 is on the toilet, I am unpacking the wash bag.

Prole1: Are you getting you computer out soon?

Me: Yes.

Prole1: Can you order…

Me: I need to get the code for the wi fi.

Prole1: OK, ok, ok. Fine, we can wait.

Me: Thank you.

Bedroom.
Bedtime.

Prole1: Good night Dad.

Me: Good night, well done today, it was a long day.

Prole1: Yes, long day. Tomorrow we will order the Tin Tin books.

Me: Yes, of course.

Monday 7th April.
The Breakfast table
9.40am
Prole1 whispers in my ear.

Prole1: Dad? Did you…?

Me: Yes. Yes I ordered the books.

Prole1: Oh. Good. Well done you.

Me: Thank you.

 

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We are packing to go away for a week.

I am packing, The Proles are frankly just standing in the way.
It is a talent they have, to find the one place in the house I want to work in and build a lego space base in it.

The Proles have slightly overpacked, they filled three shopping bags with toys they have not played with for months.

The editing process has started which involves me sending them back to whittle it down to the essentials.

There is some discussion about what “essentials” means.

Prole1: Only things that help you live and breathe. Like food.

Prole2: We have to take food?

Prole1: And water and stuff.

Prole2: What about Eeyore?

Prole1: I don’t know, you can’t…well he doesn’t…

I considered this was a moment to intervene.

Me: Ok how about we only take one bag?

Prole2: Yes, good plan Dad.

Me: Thank you.

Prole2: Can it be mine?

Me: Um..no, its a sharing bag.

Prole1: Full of food and water?

Me: No, when I say essential I mean things you really need to take with you.. things that would make you sad if you did not have.

Prole1: Ok Dad. We can sort this out.

Me: Thanks boys.

Prole1 tips all three bags out not the floor and starts rifling through Prole2’s possessions.

He selects a piece of Marble run and gradually and systematically works his way through the pile. I admire his methodical nature. And his unbelievable optimism.

Prole1: Essential?

Prole2: Yes.

Prole1: Ok, in the bag. This? Essential?

Prole2: Yes.

Prole1: Ok, in the bag. This? Essential?

Prole2: Yes.

Prole1: Ok, in the bag. This? Essential?

Prole2: Yes.

Prole1: Really? Are you sure? In the bag. This? Essential?

Prole2: Yes.

Prole1: Ok, in the bag. This? Essential?

Prole2: Yes.

Prole1: Ok, in the bag. This? Essential?

Prole2: Yes.

Prole1: Now there is no room for my stuff!

Prole2 You can take yours next time.

I wanted to listen more but today is a vanishing socks day.
One of those days where all the socks in the house have totally and completely evaporated.

Brilliant.

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The Proles share a room.

I have a bedroom.

We are one bedroom short in this house.

My room is quite small.
Box room at best.

I don’t have any money either but I sit and think about it.

If I turned the stairs round and moved the partition wall upstairs then built a stud wall and knocked out a new window I might have room for another box room upstairs.

Or, If I turned the stairs through ninety degrees and slid them bad into one corner of the kitchen I could turn the landing and stair well into a bedroom with it’s own window but I would lose half the bathroom.

Or, if I turned the stairs round and left the landing where it is I could put in a partition wall and…no the doors wouldn’t open.

Or, if I put in sky lights I could divide the bathroom and landing lengthways and have the bedroom with the window and the bathroom with a skylight?

Or, I could build an extension on the back of the house and convert the living room into a bedroom?

Or, I could build up over the back kitchen and put in a conservatory on the back of the house…

Some nights I wander round with a tape measure and try to work it all out.

I have no real intention of doing any of this.

As I say, I don’t have any money.

i do what most of my friends do though and imagine what I will do when I win the Lottery.
Not if.
When.
I am positively certain I will win the Lottery.

I know this because the adverts are dropping some pretty heavy hints that it is likely.

Millions probably.

I used to think I would instantly retire, buy a big house and live off the interest or something.
There were speed boats in this fantasy and some non specific swishing around in suits.
And happiness. Lots of happiness.
All paid for.

When I met Loz I was disgusted to hear what her winning millions on the lottery fantasy was.
She wanted to give it all away.

Give it all away?

What kind of a messed up person is given MILLIONS and then gives it away?
What kind of messed up person even dreams of being given MILLIONS and then give it away?

But we spent ages talking about it.
Money, wages that is, do not make you more happy above a certain level.
That level is just above the average but it is still no much.
Having all that money means you have to change your social circle.
You could lose all your friends.
Why would you keep a load of money that was statistically making you unhappy?

Better to set up a trust to pay yourself the optimum wage.
Now you are being paid a good but not obscene amount of money, all your friends would talk to you again.

Then you could work for the trust you set up and give away all the rest of the millions.
You would be your own boss, free from the tax man and you could choose what or who to give your money to.

This was Loz’s elegant plan for when she won millions.

Every pound spent on the lottery is someone’s dream of a better life.
Millions of pounds are millions of broken dreams.

Why would you want to store so much disappointment and then spend it on World-Resource-Sapping-Nonsense?
Would it come as a surprise if it made you unhappy?

She totally changed my attitude to winning the lottery.

This in turn made me realise how lucky I am already.

I don’t mind that I can’t get another room for free in this house.
It is a squash and a squeeze but it is home.

I am content to know that I am going to win the lottery and give it all away one day.

I really must start buying tickets.

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While the Proles were at school I got the cuddly toys down from the loft.

In actual fact it was four bin liners full of cuddly toys.

Four bin liners full.

These are not the current population of the bedroom.

At present the cuddly toy level in both the Proles’ beds is pushing maximum density.

Prole1 has his in neat rows at one end of the bed, compressed into a block in height order, Winnie the Pooh at the back, the Hatty-fatners      at the front.

Prole2 swims in a soup of soft toys, tangled up in dalmations, monkeys, rabbits ducks and bears.

I have to sweep them aside when I put him to bed.
They spill across the floor and I occasionally find infestations of them behind the sofa or in a kitchen cupboard.
They lie helpless on the floor, staring glassy eyed at me as I try to sort the washing.
They appear in ones and twos, scattered down the stairs.
The cats make nests in them.

I always try to know the whereabouts of the Alpha toys, Eeyore and Teddy.
The rest are a plush, fun fur and fabric plague that could be anywhere at any time.
Tripping me up.
Getting stuck under doors.
Being trodden on.
Getting covered in what ever that grey fluffy stuff is under the sofa.

There is a certain amount of guilt that comes with all this.

I remember being six years old and trying to wish my toys into life.
I remember Peter Pan telling me never to grow up and promising myself through tears that I never would.
I remember Kermit the Frog singing that song about Rainbows and thinking “Yes Kermit, YOU speak for ME”.

And yes, I am a forty three year old man, but that was what I was formed out of.
Sentimentality does run through me.
I do have a squashy middle.

Not so much mind.
I remember when the building I was working in became a nesting place for pigeons and I was asked to clear them out.
The rest of the crew were supremely unhelpful so I ended up on my own.
Londoners hate pigeons.
This is well known and well documented.
‘Flying Rats’ is how they are often described.
Vermin.
In fact they are no more or less diseased than any other ‘urban animal’.
The population explosion of pigeons coincided with the post war Fast Food boom.
This was when Londoners stopped eating them and started hating them.

Being from Cornwall and living in or near the countryside most of my life  I approached the problem in a no nonsense manner.
The building had vermin.
My old geography teacher told us about vermin in his shed, he said that the best place to drown rats was in the sceptic tank.
It was a horrible job but it had to be done.
I cleared all the nests into a large cardboard box and, in the absence of a sceptic tank, tipped them all out into the Thames.

The Production Manager just stared at me.

Production Manager: You did what with them?

Me: I threw them in the river.

Production Manager: I said get rid of them, I didn’t mean…I meant….

He never finished the sentence, I have often wondered what he thought I was going to do with a box of pigeon nests.
Re-home them in Trafalgar Square I suppose.

The crew, made up of big people with bald heads and tattoos, barely said a word to me for the rest of the day.
Not all the nests had been empty.
Apparently this was considered bad form.

Anyway, it was with brutality like this in my heart that I mounted the ladder to the loft and pulled the bags down.

I grabbed a really big canvas laundry bag with a zip top.
I emptied the bin liners onto the floor and began stuffing them in fist fulls to the bottom of the bag.

I knew if I kept on going and really pushed them down I could get them all in.

These are the retired cuddly toys.
These were found in corners after weeks of being alone.
These were left in friends’ houses and forgotten.
These were cleared from the floor of the bedroom, corralled in shopping bags under the stairs until there were no more questions before being smuggled into the loft at night.
These were the ‘inconvenient’ toys, noisy, loud or not quite ‘fitting in’.
These were the toys from years of “everyone is a winner” tom bolas in town, interlopers that were rounded up within days of arriving and disappeared.

There were friends in here too.

Girraffey.
Possibly the worst named toy in the house.

Blue Dad.
Named after me.

Buzz Buzz.
The Bee. Probably. Might be a wasp. Or a kind of fish. I am not making that up.

Bananas the orangutang.

Those three Aliens we bought from that hopelessly trendy children’s boutique in Peckham.
Idiots.

Polar Bear 3
Not quite as popular as Polar Bears 1 and 2.

Max the Parrot.
A good friend in the early days.

The Cuddly Rastafarian.
The one that played “Don’t Worry be happy” when you squeezed his bottom.

The Kiwi.
It is hard to make a Kiwi cuddly, this designer had failed like so many others.

Nemo.
The fish that looked a bit like a character from ‘Finding Nemo’ but wasn’t.

Green Bear.
Smells like lavender. Why?

There were snakes, monkeys, endless bears, elephants, fish, parrots and more.
A menagerie of fluff.

So I stuffed them all down in the bag and I tried to get the song “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” from the film Toy Story out of my head.

When Loz died the boys were given toys.
Lots and lots of toys.
Cuddly toys were great, both Proles regressed into more juvenile behaviour.
Soft blankets, lots of cuddles, snuggling on the sofa and tucked in with cuddly toys were the sorts of thing they bot responded to well.
I read that on a Widowers’ website.
I tried to make it happen a lot and the landslide of cuddly toys that arrived in the next eighteen months were great for that.

Tucking the boys up in bed, with a favourite toy was part of our ritual.

But the Proles are bigger now and those bin bags have been up there for over a year.

Time to go.

No time to be sentimental.

I will take them to the Proles’ old nursery this week.
I have seen Toy Story 3 as well but, as I say, I have no time to be sentimental.